Tag Archives: Susan Breslow Sardone

Everybody’s a Travel Writer: Quotations about Travel

quotesBy PAT HARTMAN
News Editor

One of the best parts of travel is all the wild or wise things you are then entitled to say about it later. We found some places where great quotations about journeys of various kinds have been brought together for our contemplation. One is called “80 Greatest Travel Quotes of All Time,” put together by Kevin Visser, a travel professional who books cruises and has personally been to nearly 40 countries. World Backpackers offers a nice bunch of quotes, and the rest of the site is pretty interesting too. Especially the “Stories from the Road” section, which is attractively various. Another great collection has been compiled by Susan Breslow Sardone, who used to be the marketing director at New York Magazine and is now the go-to gal when it comes to planning romantic honeymoon trips. A blogger known as Gramma Ann has gathered a small but quirky bunch of quotations. And here are some of our favorites from a number of sources:

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”
Susan Sontag

“People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home.”
Dagobert D. Runes

“I love old globes. They’re really wrong.”
Kevin Dolgin

“Travel has no longer any charm for me. I have seen all the foreign countries I want to except heaven and hell and I have only a vague curiosity about one of those.”
Mark Twain

“Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.”
Lawrence Block

“I quickly found that writing about traveling is much better than traveling on its own.”
Kevin Dolgin

“All very large cities are jungles, which is to say that they are dense and dark and full of surprises and strange growths; they are hard to read, hard to penetrate; strange people live in them; and they contain mazy areas of great danger.”
Paul Theroux

“The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.”
G. K. Chesterton

“I deplore the presence of borders and cross them whenever possible, sometimes just to spite them.”
Kevin Dolgin

“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”
John Steinbeck

“When you travel for business you almost inevitably end up having some kind of local contact, often (although not always) these people are themselves interesting and are pleased when you show interest in their home and their background. As such, you can often become immersed in local history and culture more easily than if you are traveling as a tourist.”
Kevin Dolgin

“Traveling is almost like talking with men of other centuries.”
René Descartes

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”
Martin Buber

“I must admit that bookstore density is one of the criteria by which I judge a city.”
Kevin Dolgin

“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.”
Mark Twain

“It’s a drug, travel. It’s the drug of discovery, and it perches on your back banging on your head if you don’t feed it from time to time. Hold out to me the opportunity of discovering someplace new and it’s very difficult not to go.”
Kevin Dolgin

“I really have enjoyed my stay, but I must be movin’ on.”
Supertramp

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”
Lao Tzu

“When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.”
Clifton Fadiman

“Traveling can open windows to a wide world, because once you start swimming around in it, you realize that the world is both far more vast and far smaller than you thought.”
Kevin Dolgin

“We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.”
Robert Louis Stevenson

The astute reader will have noticed a certain preponderance of quotations from one particular travel writer here, namely the author of The Third Tower Up From the Road. This is no coincidence.

Send us your favorite travel quotations!

photo courtesy of joiseyshowaa , used under this Creative Commons license

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Cambodia, Not Swimming: Angkor

preah khan

By PAT HARTMAN
News Editor

Today, we consider a piece by the maestro himself, Kevin Dolgin, whose lovely “One Dollar Cow: Angkor, Cambodia” can be found at McSweeney’s.

Here’s the convoluted reason why. Poking around in cyberspace, we encountered a helpful web page where Susan Breslow Sardone, longtime Romantic Travel Guide for About.com, recommends destinations based on a traveler’s zodiac sign.

Now, it happens that Mr. Dolgin is a Gemini, a type of person described here as having a “quicksilver mind” which needs plenty of stimulation in the form of novelty and action. The compiler of astrological trip-ticks assures us that the ideal Gemini destination is … “a great city.” Several possibilities are mentioned, all in the United States, two of them being Las Vegas and San Francisco.

Both these cities have been delineated by Mr. Dolgin in his essay “The West,” which appears in Kevin’s new book, The Third Tower Up from the Road. And while they are undoubtedly both great cities, neither one is what you might call exotic. So, onward to the jungles of Cambodia, and the remains of an urban center the size of Los Angeles.

First, we learn that Angkor means “city.” In the record business this is known as an eponymous title. And why not? Many groups throughout history have called themselves names that meant, in their tongues, “people” or “humans,” so why shouldn’t a city be called “City?” Especially when it surrounds a temple that turns out to be the largest building ever constructed in the service of religion. This edifice, Angkor Wat, is a marvel of the stonemason’s art, every millimeter of it covered with intricate carvings guaranteed to blow your mind.

But if you think this is Angkor’s only temple, think again – about Preah Khan, a former Buddhist monastery which Kevin describes thusly:

It is a vast network of passages crossing each other in a complex pattern that stretches the imagination by its very conception.

And, Preah Khan has been left alone, not scraped bare by archaeologists. So it’s all overgrown with vines, and pleasantly spooky. Pre Rup, a temple featuring pyramidal spires, is also recommended. It was here that the author was offered the one-dollar cow, and also here that his friend recalled and recounted a mystical encounter, in another time and another land, with another cow. “I’ll never forget that,” the author says, and neither will we.

Happy Birthday, Kevin!

SOURCE: “One Dollar Cow: Angkor, Cambodia”

photo courtesy of nimbu , used under this Creative Commons license